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We Were Liars

(We Were Liars #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  942,840 ratings  ·  92,493 reviews
A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhar
Hardcover, 228 pages
Published May 13th 2014 by Delacorte Press
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K Actually, the truth is that there was supposed to be a section where it explained why they were called liars due to a few scenes occurring in this spe…moreActually, the truth is that there was supposed to be a section where it explained why they were called liars due to a few scenes occurring in this specific section of the book that never made it be published.

My sister and I had personally asked Lockhart in person at a festival a few months back and this is what she told us. There was a section that was taken off and never got to be published because it was "boring" and "slow". The publishers didn't want to slow down the book so they just cut it out. Result? A title that doesn't make sense and no longer portrays to the story the way the author intended.
It has *nothing* to do with the older women, the grandfather, or the Littles. It had to do with the 'Liars' (Gat, Johnny, Mirren, Cadence) and just never printed. Cady refers to her group as such, but Lockhart didn't explain any further since it was during a signing.

edit after newer version's release: SPOILER!





The kids were used by their mothers in an attempt in securing an inheritance.
Book analyzing can also include the lie of a perfect and normal life the Sinclairs lived. That beauty was a lie and Gat tried to call attention to it.(less)
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
Dawn M
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  942,840 ratings  ·  92,493 reviews

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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Once upon a time there were three bears who lived in a wee house in the woods.
Once upon a time there were three billy goats who lived near a bridge.
Once upon a time there were three soldiers, tramping together down the roads after the war.
Once upon a time there were three little pigs.
Once upon a time there were three brothers.
No, this is it. This is the variation I want.
It was a better coming of age than Catcher in the Rye, but I also thought Twilight was a better coming-of-age than Catcher
Steph Sinclair
I went into We Were Liars one cocky son of a biscuit eater, feeling above it all right from page one. I'd seen this book talked about so heavily by other bloggers and how some never saw the twist coming or how others totally saw that twist coming. All the while, I was sitting on the sidelines with my shades on, posted up with my arms folded, saying, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Hot potato." That's not to say I didn't want to read this book, because I did. I even had an ARC sitting on my shelf for the long ...more
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
It's been awhile since I have so totally hated a book.

I'm surprised at how varied the feelings on here about this book are...some of my friends hated it.

Some of them liked/loved it.

I still love them....

Let's get to why I hated this so very frigging much.

The main character is a twit...but then the whole family is:
Welcome to the beautiful Sinclair family.
No one is a criminal.
No one is an addict.
No one is a failure.
The Sinclairs are athletic, tall and handsome.

That's actually
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was, without a doubt, one of the most powerful and well-crafted books I have read in a really long time.

Elements that made this book outstanding:
1) It started with a map and a family tree. Talk about setting yourself up for success!
2) The personification of emotion. This might not make sense unless you've read the book, but wow it was powerful.
3) The use of fairy tales from the main character to describe situations.
4) The sense of complete mystery and suspicion: I was always questioning ev
Emily May
It's true what they're saying: you're better off if I tell you nothing about this book.

So I will just say two things.

1) It is worth reading. Even though I only gave it 3 stars.

2) I gave it 3 stars because of the writing style, which irritated the hell out of me. The fact that it got 3 stars after annoying me so much will hopefully give you some indication of how much I liked the idea.

It's a very clever book and an incredibly sophisticated piece of YA. BUT... an execution that was not to my taste
Drcong O '
"Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE."

This book was great,
you guys! I love the writing style.
It wasn't confusing at all!
It was totally not annoying! :)
I loved the characters.
They were so complex
and not bland at all.
They definitely didn't
want to make me want to shoot
myself in the head! :)
I knew what was going on and
I enjoyed this story a lot!
The ending was just beautiful.
Literally all I can ask for! :)

I LOVE THIS SM I AM CRYING! :) :) :) :) :) :)
sobbing. sobbing. sobbing. so much love for this book, and its perfect, perfect ending.

i can't even capitalize right now. i don't even want to capitalize right now.

in fetal position.


my souuuuul.
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
May 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Tragic, yet hauntingly beautiful story.
Miranda Reads
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Cadence and her family spend every summer on a private island, courtesy of her racist and classist grandfather.

All of her aunts constantly vie for the grandfather's attention and favor (in an attempt to keep ahold of the family fortune).

Cadence and her cousins consider themselves above such petty actions and spend most summers making trouble, being rich and taking advantage of the liquor bar.

Then, two summers ago, something terrible and tragic happens.

Everyone knows but Candace... and everyon
mark monday
Nov 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: teenworld
 photo I hate thinking_zpsgx4pgezq.jpg

well this was all kinds of pointless
and also depressing.

the writing is so mannered
it is an affectation
a studied display of real or pretended feeling.
the whole book lacks affect;
it lacks the real emotion
that it so desperately tries to convey
in its own affect-less way.
the writer has talent
but here it is squandered.

I like the premise, it's enticing;
who doesn't want to read about
the fragile cloistered lives
of insular rich white people
who summer on their own private island?
makes us no
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
I don't cry a lot but boy this had me sobbing
I don't even know how to describe the feelings this story left me with. Just read it and you'll understand
so, just like Little Bee, this book begs you "NOOO, DON'T TELL ITS SEEEEKRITS!!" and if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

so part of me is tempted to write this whole long review about how this book is a magical adventure focusing on a young girl in manhattan during the blackout of 2003, when all the red pandas living in the sewers came out to play, carrying tiny flashlights and shepherding people from manhattan to their homes in the outer boroughs and all the lessons this young girl learns
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
lets play two truths and a lie. ready? i will go first.

- this book has an unreliable narrator and you cant trust anything she tells you.

- this story has such deep secrets, even its secrets have secrets.

- this novel has a twist that you wont see coming, but you will try to convince yourself that you did.

think you got it?

i can guarantee you dont.

because the best lies are those based on truth.

so read this book for yourself.

maybe then you will be able to spot the imposter.

and if anyone asks y
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
”We were warm and shivering,
and young and ancient,
and alive."

When I began to read this book I went in completely blind and had absolutely no clue what it was about. The blurb on the back didn’t tell me anything about the plot and everything I knew was that “We Were Liars” had apparently won the YA Goodreads Choice Award in 2014.
So yeah, I just decided to read it and hoped it would be good and looking at it in retrospective this actually was the best decision I could have made! ;-P

Because let’s
chan ☆
um. no.

am glad to have read this though so i can unhaul it! ngl it's satisfying getting rid of stuff you've owned forever.
Kristin (KC)
*5 Stars*

There’s not even a Scrabble word for how I’m feeling right now…

This story left me defeated, but its tragedy was paired equally with an unconventional beauty. It gripped me instantly to the point where I couldn’t stop thinking about its mystery…

Its intrigue.

Its quiet calamity.

The suspense is painted on rather thickly, which is not to say that readers will not form an accurate theory early on. But the journey remains worth it whether you’ve Sherlock Holmes’d this one or not.

The plot in
This is me sobbing.
How can a book be so perfect.

review to come
once I stop crying

PS: None of my comments pre-August 2021 apply anymore because I was wrong. So wrong. This book is a masterpiece.
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Be a little kinder than you have to.”



Okay so where to begin. I liked this book,you can see it by my rating, but I don't feel it ended right. I am not saying it was a bad ending, not at all, I enjoyed it, but there was no justice.

“Do not accept an evil you can change.”



Christine Riccio
Jun 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
that wasn't what i was expecting! IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THIS YET, JUST JUMP INTO IT. It's better the less you know about it! I just posted my full booktalk! =) ...more
Era ➴
[song match - Glory and Gore by Lorde.]

I love this book. I really do. I didn't expect to, but then I just fell in love with it and now it's an obsession.

The writing is pretty controversial - it’s the style of writing that people either love or hate, no in between. This type of book isn’t for everyone.
It’s a very flowery, metaphorical, lots-of-paragraph-breaks style of prose that’s super dreamy and a little too dramatic.
Luckily for me, I fall into the category of people who love this writing st
May 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-owned-read
I don't know what to rate this my brain is still digesting. ...more
Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile
Reread 2/13/21. Still amazing. Still crying.

OH MY GOD. Hands down, this is by far the most amazing book I've read so far this year, and possibly a good part of last year. I went into it knowing hardly anything about it, which is the way it should be. Now that I'm done, I literally want to pick it up and start it all over again.

I know alot of people dislike the disjointed writing, but it didn't bother me in the least. I flew through this book today despite being extremely busy at work, and I came
Hated the writing. Hated the characters. Sure, it's a interesting concept, but it was badly executed. All the messages were shallow and fell short. And I'm not going to sympathize with a conventionally attractive old money rich white family whose only problems stem from their own selfishness and egocentrism. ...more
daniella ❀
Feb 14, 2022 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, 2022
it's so bad i want to give you a zero, but that's not possible so i give you a one ...more
Charlotte May
Reread 2022

A strange sensation rereading this since I knew the twist. It meant I got to focus more on the characters, and see the subtle hints and foreshadowing.
Still love this book as much as I ever did. The writing, the themes, the gut wrenching. I’m looking forward to diving into the prequel now.


Original review

“Tragedy is ugly and tangled, stupid and confusing.”

Everyone warned me about the twist in this book! I did well not to get spoiled, as it was definitely a s
I went into 'We Were Liars' blind, for the most part. It had been sitting on my Audible shelf for so long that I had long-since forgotten what it was supposed to be about. Sometimes, I get it in my head that a book is going to be about something, when it absolutely has nothing to do with it. God only knows where I get these ideas, but I do. As a result, I often find myself being surprised by the content of the stories I read without re-reading the blurbs. This was one of those times. Note to oth ...more
Mary Christensen
A really unfortunate novel by the author of the much better The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. A completely unconvincing twist in the last twenty pages resolves the mystery in a way that is both improbably gruesome and also lightly dismissed by the author.

The real moral questions raised by the subject of the book, including racism, land ownership, inheritance, materialism, greed, and manipulation, are acted out in flat, white-hat/black-hat morality plays by stock characters of li
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E. Lockhart is the author of Again Again, Genuine Fraud, We Were Liars and Family of Liars, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and several other books. Whistle: A New Gotham CIty Hero is a graphic novel.

Instagram: elockhartbooks
Twitter: elockhart

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  Ellen Oh is an award-winning author of middle grade and young adult novels, including The Dragon Egg Princess, A Thousand Beginnings and...
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“Be a little kinder than you have to.” 2199 likes
“Do not accept an evil you can change.” 1547 likes
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